Tjoms in Arms: Gauteng’s Favourite Community Bouldering Event

Are you ready for the third edition of Tjoms in Arms?

Tjoms in Arms (TIA), Gauteng’s largest climbing community bouldering competition is a celebration of strength, resilience, and camaraderie. This comp exemplifies the fact that individuals perform at their peak when they’re supported and motivated. TIA doesn’t fit the standard climbing competition mold – it’s not all about the win, but celebrating the pursuit of self-improvement. 

Join Friends and Allies for the third edition of TIA on Saturday 2 September, and get ready for a jol!

Community: Part of the Climbing Culture

The community aspect of climbing has been a main focus of Friends and Allies since its inception. TIA was conceived in FA’s first year as a way to bring the community together for a day of psych and sends. The goal of TIA has never been to focus on the podium, but rather having an incredible day with the tjoms. TIA is a community-driven event and a climbing comp like no other. Participants depend on their partners for encouragement. The positive energy of competing teams fills the air. The essence of TIA has been compared to a shared journey, an adventure that everyone embarks on together.

Unlike other climbing competitions, TIA is a team-based event, where you and your tjom work together towards a shared score. The pairing strategy is unrestricted, i.e. boy/boy, girl/girl, boy/girl, ou ballie/young gun, gumby/crusher, etc. This emphasis on partnership is deliberate. Climbing is a team sport after all (unless you’re Alex Honnold).

Friends and Allies Fables: The Gateway to TIA

After TIA Vol I, many climbers likened the intense day of climbing to a rad training session. This view inspired the creation of the Friends and Allies Fables, or FAF for short. The FAF is a friendly bouldering league which runs every six weeks. This week-long session allows climbers to test themselves on tricky problems with ample time to go for the send. The six-week gap is ideal as it allows climbers to refine their training blocks between FAFs. The FAF series not only enhances the TIA experience but also constructs an ideal training structure that encourages year-round climbing.

Saucy Setters

The heart of TIA lies in the boulders, and competitors are given nothing but the best. The setters are sourced from all over the country to provide the tjoms with a unique, and skillfully crafted set. The holds are world-class, coming from providers such as Blocz, Blue Pill and Unit. This all comes together to create a set that is unique, challenging and captivating. 

Your Journey to TIA

If all this talk of crazy sets and spectacular tjoms has you frothing, then here’s everything you need to know to come and put the ‘you’ in community:

Firstly, you’ll need to grab a ticket for the event at this link – choose a timeslot that aligns with your tjom and make sure you rock up at the right time! You and your tjom aren’t the only psyched ones competing and there needs to be enough space for everyone on the mats. Qualifiers consist of 30 problems in a two-hour slot that you and your tjom need to try your best on. After your climbing session, upload your scores on the FA app and enter it under your team name. The top 10 scores from each competitor are totalled to create a cumulative team score.

If you’re not climbing but you’re excited to swing by and check out the vibes, you’re more than welcome! Throughout the day there will be several challenges and spot prizes offered to keep competitors and spectators alike engaged. The climax of the event is a trivia quiz, featuring climbing-themed questions that promise an entertaining diversion.

In the finals, things take an exciting turn with a session-styled format. Competitors from different categories climb simultaneously – a wild watch for the spectators. The finals are a whirlwind of activity, making them one of the most exciting climbing showdowns to watch.

It’s all About the Teamwork

TIA is a manifestation of the community spirit at the heart of FA. It’s a day of shared triumphs and lessons, cementing the bonds within Johannesburg’s climbing community. TIA is more than just a climbing competition; it’s a celebration of a community, a gathering of friends. It’s where you’ll find your tjoms, experience shared joys and create memories that will last a lifetime. With TIA, the journey is just as important as the destination.

All images courtesy of Chris Doman.